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Thread: Photographing a volcano/lava...best settings?

  1. #1
    New Member Nessa's Avatar
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    Photographing a volcano/lava...best settings?

    I have a Sony CyberShot DSC HX9V, which is a great camera but there's still a lot of features I don't know how to use! I've had the camera for perhaps 4 years?

    I went to Hawaii two years ago and went to the Big Island and was at the Jaggar Museum & Overlook watching the Halema‘uma‘u Crater glow in the evening. I wasn't sure what the best camera settings were to photograph the glow of lava, but what I wanted didn't work. I think I need long exposure?

    Anywho, going again in a weeks’ time and this time would love to take proper photos of the lava glow.

    Can you please tell me what the best settings will be on my camera to get such photos. This is what I hope to achieve....well as close to this as I can (just a random photo from Google):

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mnpc4uwllP...0/DPP_0799.JPG

    Thanks, Vanessa

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what settings you have on that camera , but the photo you show has the rising smoke very sharp . This indicates it was a fast shutter speed ( quick exposure) not a long one. Also it appears quite dark . So low light and quick shutter speed means the ISO setting on the camera was high. So if you want to get something like in the picture you need a low f-value . This will open your shutter up as wide as possible to let in maximum light, then choose a high ISO which increases the sensitivity of your sensor. Then you should get a reasonably fast shutter speed.

    If you want the rissing smoke to be more blurred , to show movement , use a long exposure. Here you can use lower ISO , but you should also probably use a tripod or else other things in the photo you do not want blurred , like the edge of the crater and the "glow" , will also be blurred.
    The name is Brad ......

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  3. #3
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    most likely that was taken with a DSLR. However, you can take it with a cybershot.

    But there is no 'one setting' that will work. You need to learn more about your camera, and its functions, in particular ISO, Shutter and Aperture. These work together and you need to understand how they work together to improve your photography.

    The reason I say there are is not a 'do this' setting is that any setting would need to be changed every few minutes as the sun got lower (if taken as sunset) or as the sun got higher (if taken at sunrise). What works right now, will not work in 10 minute time.

    Take a tripod. set your Aperture to around f14, set your ISO to 400 or 800, then adjust your shutter speed based on the available light.

    Between now and when you go, learn as much as you can about Aperture, ISO and Shutter speed. These three things are known as the exposure triangle. Use that knowledge, and also learn about how to compose landscapes (rule of thirds is a good one) and if you can soak all that in, over the next few weeks, you might just get the photo you want.
    Last edited by ricktas; 14-08-2015 at 2:49pm.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi. So that means that if you have been using "Auto" mostly, then take it off that into another mode where you can VARY the exposures. I use Manual.
    Take a series of shots - as there isn't just a "best" setting - and see which you like. I say for you to "take a series of shots" because I cannot find in the
    specs whether you camera can do "exposure bracketing". (It does WB bracketing, but "big deal" IMHO!!) Have a look in your manual for exposure bracketing
    and if there, learn how to use it.

    It also appears from the specs that your camera cannot record RAW files. They would allow you to record a much wider range of tones than just jpegs can.
    So you might have to use a tripod and take that series of shots, where you vary the exposure settings to make sure you get as much detail as you can.

    Your series of shots will probably end up with bright highlights and light shadows through to well-recorded highlights and deep (maybe unrecoverable) shadows.

    Have a look at this Library link for lots of info.

    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Enjoy your visit.
    Just take heaps of photos and hope.
    Oh, and post some of the photos you get for further instruction for your next visit.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, Sigma 120-400, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

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